Guest Blogger: Lara Fabans
Tick tick tick. Deadline looming.
“MOM! I can’t find my DS charger.”
“Yeah but I can’t find it. Either of them.”
“Can it wait?”
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
Ten minutes later and I’m eyeball deep in data and analytics again.
“MOM, I found it!”
You’d think I’d be happy but I’m not. When my teenage daughter is home, I cease to exist as a person. I’m an interruptible thing that provides money, food, advice, and anything else she can think of.
Yes, I should have learned to close the door long ago, and here’s why I didn’t. When she was three, she didn’t talk. Oh, maybe a word here and there, but not as you’d expect from a toddler. We had the school district evaluate her and they wanted to label her as “autistic.” Not “Aspergers” but the full blown A-word.
Hubby and I dug in our heels. We were not going to let them saddle her with the Scarlet Letter since, it turns out, you can’t truly diagnose someone with autism until they’re 5 or 6. “Delayed Language” it was.
Much of my life from when she was 3 until she was 10 was spent getting her to early intervention pre-school, pragmatic language therapy, group interaction skills classes and as many play dates as possible. The play dates were the most difficult as her peers shunned her. And we were at a private school that said they promote acceptance. Silly me. Good thing they didn’t offer to sell me a bridge.
By the time she was 11 and in 5th grade, we knew we had turned a corner, and the rest would be up to her. But I still had a difficult time not being available for her. And now I’m in a situation of my own making.
Dr. Robert Anthony has said that every problem we have right now was at one time a solution. We just have to recognize that the solution no longer suits us, and change our habits.
But do I really want to? What do I get out of always being there for her? And am I teaching her the right thing?
Am I teaching her to respect me as a person and as an individual?
As women, we often don’t feel respected. When I was in CorporateLand, I could bring up an idea, and then someone else would bring it up, and everyone would say “What a great idea!” I wanted, no, demanded respect! It backfired, as I’m sure you could guess. There are rules to the games being played and I forgot to buy the book.
I get treated better now professionally because I learned from hard experience in the corporate world to command respect.
In my life as work-at-home freelancer, the rules are a little different, but my need for respect remains the same — be it from the CEO or the ED (Executive Daughter).
How will I get it? From remembering that, she has grown a lot since she was that 3 year-old who having trouble talking.
The most respectful way I can treat her — and myself — is to start treating her as the adult she is, ready or not, becoming.
Lara Fabans is an online marketing consultant specializing in SEM and traffic generation for small to medium high tech companies. In what free time she has left between her job, hubby, dear daughter and two cats, she reads mystery novels and knits. (Kipcat on Ravelry) Check out her biz blog at LodestoneCS Blog.
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